MONROE, CT — It was a solid season on the whole for Masuk High’s boys basketball team — especially when you consider the new-look roster with three starters having to be replaced due to graduation from a year ago, as well as some tough competition in and out of the South-West Conference.
“I was definitely pleased. I was very pleased with the way we played, especially with our schedule,” said Coach Pete Szklarz.
Masuk went 10-10 during the regular season slate, was the No. 21 seed and traveled to No. 12 Ledyard in the first round of the Division III State Tournament on March 8. The Panthers nearly overcame a couple of first-half injuries to starters and a double-digit Ledyard lead before falling 58-47.
“Guys off the bench stepped up. We cut it to four at one point,” Szklarz said. “I think if we were at full strength it would have been a different story.”
Sean Minnick was injured in the first quarter and Greg Nivison scored seven points, six of which came in the first quarter, then exited with an injury. Nivison tried to give it a go after halftime to no avail.
Brandon Francisco led Masuk with 11 points, seven of which came from the foul line. Dylan Jackson scored nine, seven of which came in the second half. Jeremy Everlith dropped in six. Frank Piscitelli scored 11 points, all in the second half.
Masuk took on tough South-West Conference rivals, including Kolbe Cathedral, which is the top seed in D-III and D-I Notre Dame-Fairfield. Nonconference losses came in challenging contests with Trumbull, St. Joseph, Fitch and Bassick.